A minor cut, leading to diabetes

minute read
July 17, 2023
A type 2 diabetic having a cut on his finger bandaged.
Note: Image for illustration only. It does not show the author of this story. Photo credit: Bruno

My name is Ubaid Malik. I’m 22 years old.

Sometimes, unexpected things happen in our lives. Looking back over the last few years, I can’t stop crying.

My misfortune

I was a student in the Agriculture department. My department’s hostel was being renovated, and I had to move. After my move, I was arranging my books, and my hand touched a wire. The wire cut my finger, and it started to bleed.

I didn’t worry about it because it was just a normal cut. But after a few days, my finger began to hurt.

I visited my university’s clinic, and the doctor ran some tests. The tests showed my finger had a severe infection, so he prescribed me some medication to treat it.

But the medication didn’t help. To recover, I ended up having to take a much larger dose.

Getting diagnosed with diabetes

After recovering from my infection, I lost sensation in my finger and felt the need to urinate frequently – I needed to pee so often that it disturbed my university classes.

My peers recommended I visit the hospital.

At the hospital, the doctor ordered blood tests. These tests showed my blood glucose level was over 400 mg/dl (it should be less than 140) – This was a real shock to me.

The doctor told me a blood glucose level this high was common with diabetes. They also said that nerve damage caused by diabetes would explain the loss of sensation in my finger. And that diabetes would put me at higher risk of infection from cuts and minor injuries.

Starting herbal treatment

Because my family are from a village, my parents and other family members recommended I start herbal treatment for my diabetes. They felt that I was still too young to take other medical treatments.

My herbalist recommended apple cider vinegar for my injuries and that I eat more fibre to decrease my blood glucose level – This also caused me to lose weight.

He prepared a mixture for me using oregano, which he said would increase insulin production and was very effective in controlling high blood glucose.

Following these treatments seemed to work for me, to an extent, but I wouldn’t recommend it to others – Everyone has different symptoms and causes of diabetes, and what worked for one person may not work for someone else.

Based on my experience, I also don’t believe herbs can control and cure diabetes. I think they can only give relief for some symptoms. And while they can provide a good effect, they can also sometimes cause serious complications.

Losing weight

Using different herbs and home remedies, I steadily lost body weight. I lost so much that it was dangerous, and my diabetes started to cause different complications.

To stop losing weight I got more physically active and began following a healthy diet. My diet focused on plants because plants can provide vitamins, proteins, minerals, fats and carbohydrates. And I avoided preserved and canned food.

Every day I drank lemon water because lemons are high in soluble fibre, help to control blood sugar and cholesterol, and make you feel fresh.

Experiencing eye problems

After getting diabetes, life wasn’t easy. I was too upset about losing weight and was left with no choice but to pray to God.

And then I found out I was suffering from damage to my eyes.

According to my doctor, eye damage is also very common among diabetics, but it’s treatable and reversible – Though it’s a very slow process to bring back full vision.

I was relieved there was a chance to treat my eyes and restore my vision. But worried as well because I knew that if I didn’t treat it, it would get worse and worse.

My doctor also wasn’t sure if diabetes was responsible for my vision loss. It’s common to develop this problem after 10-15 years of diabetes, but I developed it much sooner. He was concerned that I could have more severe eyesight loss ahead of me and possibly even go blind at any time.

Starting an exercise routine

My life is full of struggles, and while I’m still young it feels like a burden.

It’s not easy to deal with diabetes, but I know diet and exercise can help control diabetes symptoms.

So I follow a low-fat diet and do 2 hours of physical exercise every day.

My physical activities help me control my blood glucose level, and maintaining my daily routine and a healthy diet help prevent me from losing any more weight.

I’ve also found I enjoy exercising. I choose exercises I like (so they don’t feel like a burden), pick activities that don’t make me too tired, and make sure to exercise every day – If I skip a day, I feel like I’m not getting the benefits of it.

For me, this means yard work, going for walks with my university friends, and taking hiking tours – As a student of Agriculture, I have lots of different places to visit.

And I found a good team of friends to help me keep up my physical activities. They motivate me and help me stay active, working toward my goal of improving my health and curing my diabetes.

Final thoughts

I feel blessed that God gifted me with life.

It’s a hard life, no doubt, and I struggle with my diabetes. But I have enough courage to think of ways to improve my health and still live my life in a good and meaningful way.

Graphic of a male profile picture.
Ubaid Malik
Editor's note: The opinions and experiences reflected in stories from the diabetic community belong to the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of InDiabetes.

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